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The Dark Place in Your Mind

Brace yourself and explore the depths of the supernatural. A disturbing dream is much more than it seems. Strange visions plague a young man. A night after work turns deadly. A prank goes horribly awry. A noise complaint reveals supernatural results. A father rushes in to save his daughter from a fire. Enjoy this series of short stories that mystify, horrify, and may even make you laugh or cry!

Age Rating: 16+


The Dark Place in Your Mind by Brian C. Sloan is now available to read on the Galatea app! Read the first two chapters below, or download Galatea for the full experience.



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There was once a girl named Bella who was 16 years old. Her family had raised her in a loving, positive atmosphere and always encouraged her to care about what’s on the inside.

Yet, as much they tried to influence her ideals, they always had trouble with Bella when it came to appearance.

They always told her true beauty was on the inside, but Bella did not or could not grasp this.

Since she was very young, she would spend countless hours constantly styling her hair, changing and trying on different clothes, and worrying about how pretty she was.

One thing Bella always got compliments on were her eyes, which were a deep, piercing blue. Because of this, eyeshadow was her favorite thing.

This act of trying and re-trying on clothes and makeup became even worse when she got her first doll, an old porcelain one that was given to her by her aunt.

She admired the grace and style of the doll, to her a perfect portrait of beauty. And her favorite thing about it was how lifelike the doll’s eyes were, which made her think of how pretty her own eyes were.

Since then, Bella became obsessed with dolls, always trying to dress like one and putting on makeup to make her skin white and fair.

Her mother became so worried about her obsession with all of this, so she began taking away her clothing and makeup, hoping this would stop her daughter’s excessive behavior. This was to no avail.

Finally, she told Bella that if she wouldn’t stop being so obsessed with appearance, her dolls would be the first thing to go. Bella promised to stop, but she soon found out she still continued the behavior.

Enraged, Bella’s mother got rid of all her dolls and make up, throwing them into the dumpster.

This devastated Bella, who screamed and cried for hours once she saw all of her favorite and beautiful things were taken away.

Eventually she stopped talking, and was even sent to a psychiatrist who tried to help her, but to no avail.

One day, Bella disappeared on her way home from school. Kidnapping was immediately investigated, as there had been other kidnappings recent in the area.

Yet there seemed to be no evidence of any foul play. In fact, they were never even sure that Bella disappeared on her way home, seeing as her cell phone was still in her locker at school.

She never went anywhere without it.

The only clue they had was a call Bella made that morning , which was to a dollmaker by the name of Samuel Black.

After checking into it, they found he was one of the best doll makers around and her mother then remembered Bella asking about a Samuel Black doll before, but she refused on account of how expensive they were.

After talking to Mr. Black, they found Bella had contacted him about purchasing one of his dolls , yet did not have enough money.

Bella got upset when the dollmaker told her there was nothing he could do, and even discouraged her from buying when she told him her mother had thrown all hers away.

He sensed there was something not right with Bella, and ended the call. There was nothing suspicious about Mr. Black, and he was in fact ruled out right away.

He was especially cooperative, and even told them he would alert authorities should she ever contact him.

The story was all over the news, and Bella’s mother became even more stressed from all the attention. She was glad when things finally died down around three months later.

The one thing that did help her through was the letters of encouragement she got from those who’d seen her story on the news. It was one of the few good things about the publicity.

One day, she received a large package in the mail, to which she reluctantly signed for, since there was no return address. She figured it was another consolary gift from a sympathizer.

After tearing off the outer package, she noticed the name “Samuel Black” around the box. She figured he had sent her a gift for all that she’d been through.

After opening it completely, to her horror she found a lifesize doll in the package.

This of course upset to her the point of tears, and couldn’t fathom why they would send her a doll to console her after all that had happened.

Not only this, she saw in person just how detailed Mr. Black’s dolls were. This one was lifesize in deed, and was ornately decorated , and noticed how eerily real the porcelain eyes were.

She was never a fan of porcelain dolls because of how creepy the eyes were, especially on this one. Once she calmed down, she phoned in to vent her outrage. The secretary answered.

“Hello, Samuel Black Dolls, how can I help you?”

“Yes, this is the mother of Bella Sikes. I am furious , because someone has sent me a doll from your company which is ludicrous! After all I’ve been through with my daughter….I-I-I just…”

“Oh my….I am so sorry Mrs. Sikes. If you’d like I’ll look at our orders to see who sent it to you so you can file a harassment complaint to the police.”

“Thank you.”

After checking for a moment, the secretary came back on the line with a puzzled tone.

“Thanks for holding Mrs. Sikes. I–I’m not really sure how to tell you this but…it seems no one has ordered a doll from us that was sent to you.”

“For crying out…I demand to speak to Samuel then!!”

“oh….oh my. You haven’t heard of it?”

“Heard what!?”

“The police here in Oregon found him in his home yesterday when he didn’t show up for work. He was murdered.”


“Yes….they’re still investigating it…we’re all pretty shaken up about it…”

“…I don’t know what to say. I’m sorry I got so upset…”

“It’s alright Mrs. Sikes, that’s understandable. You’ve been through a lot with your missing daughter. Is there anything else that we can do for you?”

“No….I’ve got to go.”

“Ok, so sorry about the mix-up. We’ll keep you in our thoughts, take care!”

Mrs. Sikes then put her phone away and sat down in shock, staring blankly as she took the information in. What is going on around here?

Who sent the doll to her then? Perhaps someone had it shipped to their private home, then sent it themself to her house….

She then went back into the den where she left the doll, only to find the doll missing with the packaging still there.

“Randy?” She called hesitantly, thinking her husband came home without her noticing. As she got closer to the inner packaging she noticed something odd on it.

When she inspected further, she brought her hand to her mouth to keep from screaming. There was dried blood on the packaging.

At this moment, she felt the cool touch of porcelain wrap around her. She screamed and pushed the assailant away from her, and took off for the front door, not daring to look behind her.

Livid fear coursed through her when she saw a padlock and chain on the front door. She clawed at the lock, but with no success in doing anything.

Soon, she heard the clod of heavy feet coming towards her in the foyer, and froze in terror as she saw the lifesize doll coming towards her.

Her legs seized up, and she shrank herself against the wall, awaiting for the monstrosity to kill her.

As the thing got closer she saw a trail of blood that oozed out from the pant leg, which she surmised to be that of Samuel Black.

The porcelain face of the doll creature was the most horrific, a bright smile with blushed cheeks, all painted up and decorated which only made it even more horrifying.

Once in front of her, the thing stopped, and turned its head to the side in curiosity.

“WHAT DO YOU WANT?!!” The mother screamed.

“Do you like it?” The doll thing said in a whisper.


“Do you like it? How do I look?” At that moment, the mother realized why this doll’s eyes were so unsettling. They were a deep piercing blue, just like her daughters

“What’s wrong , mommy? I just wanted to hug you…don’t you think I’m pretty? Am I beautiful now?”


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Swear poured down my face as I clenched the steering wheel. Streetlamps rhythmically illuminated the car as I made my way home, my mind everywhere at once as I felt on the verge of a panic attack.

The closer I got to my house, the more I felt the anxiety build, and begged for release. It was the longest ride home ever. As i decided what to do from here on, I recanted the night’s previous events.

I worked at a bar, so I got off at 9 usually, not closing time but late enough to always be on edge as I exited through the side alleway.

This fear was heightened when I stepped out this night and noticed an unknown car waiting at the other end of the alley, blocking the exit to the street.

Memories of my past immediately came to light…five years ago I used to work for some bad people, and I had tipped off the police in order to avoid a more critical sentence.

Since then, I’d been clean but always keeping a watchful eye out for trouble. Five years later, my reckoning was finally coming.

My hand ready at my gun holster, I casually walked towards the exit and then two figures stepped from the shadows.

They grasped at me, and one of them managed to get a bag over my head, and reflexively I fired off my gun multiple times. I felt the weight of one of them slump against me, and took off my cloth bag.

The second assailant lay silently not far away. I had survived…but what now?

Knowing the people I’d worked for, they’d also have someone looking for me at home…oh God they could have Julie! I had to check to make sure she was okay.

I almost ran to my car, and immediately decided against it. Taking their car was best…they would think I was the kidnappers. I dragged their bodies to the car, and put them into the trunk.

I couldn’t call the police…they’d never believe me. I’d just be labeled somebody who just waited for the right time to get back in the game of bad business.

My bosses were probably just waiting until things calmed down, when I wasn’t expecting anything. I hopped into the car and made my way home, trying to stay at the speed limit as best as possible.

I called Julie’s phone, but no answer…it went straight to voicemail.

“Nonononono,” I said under my breath, trying multiple times.

Finally, I’d made it to my block and parked two houses over. Unsettling was the scene of my house , as my wife’s car wasn’t there nor were any of the lights on.

This was very unusual, as our street lighting was not very good and we always kept at least two lights in the home, plus it had a vague appearance that someone might be home.

To see if I could stir up any movement, I knocked on the door, then crouched down and put my ear to it. Maybe it was my imagination, but I swore I could hear faint voices.

I decided going around back was the best way to go, so I made my way around and silently unlocked the door and crept in.

From the den I could hear some muffled shuffling, and waiting for a moment for my eyes to adjust, I found someone in front of me.

I grabbed them around the neck and put the muzzle of my gun to their head.

“Where are you keeping her, you son of a….”

Suddenly the lights flipped on in the den.

“SURPRI–” the words cut off as I witnessed a group of all my friends together in the den. It was obvious they expected me to come in from the main entrance, and in their confusion turned to greet me.

My eyes widened in horror , and they gasped at the sight of me holding a gun up to my friend’s head..

“Holy crap, John! What are you doing!” My friend said, and I let go , still taken aback by everything.

“John, are you ok?” My next door neighbor said. “You look like you’ve seen a ghost.” I put my gun down gently,and started laughing hysterically.

Here I was, thinking I was going to get assasinated and it was a surprise party! The fact that it was my birthday never even occurred to me.

“Oh my God…you guys scared the bejeezus out of me!” I said. “You wouldn’t believe the night I’ve had so far!” I felt giddy from so much relief.

We chatted for a second, and I apologized for being so jumpy.

“Yeah, you scared us too there, buddy,” said Anne, my wife’s best friend. “Especially cuz we didn’t see Ryan’s car.”

“Ryan’s car? Don’t you mean my car?”

“Well, no. Maybe they changed their minds about doing it last minute, but last I heard Ryan and Julie were going to kidnap you as a joke after you got out of work.

Have you heard from them?”

Suddenly, I felt the sickest I’ve ever felt in my entire life.


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Drawn Together

When Kya meets her mate at her first Howling, the attraction is immediate and irresistible. Handsome Alpha Damien promises a life of power, privilege, and sexual delights. But Damien’s father Desmond has an old secret grudge that threatens to destroy their bliss. As Kya learns more about her own family history, she starts to realize she may be in over her head.

Age Rating: 18+ (Content Warning: Assault, Violent Death)

The Final Diary

William Daniels, a writer who enjoys the quiet life, has suddenly found himself on the run in the streets of London. An infection has broken out and is spreading across the city, and William just wants to find his daughter and a safe place where they can wait things out. But that may be too much to ask during the apocalypse.

Age Rating: 18+

Falling for the Mafia Brothers

Mafia brothers Max and Dimitri have no problems taking what they want. When good girl Kyle is forced into a life she never wanted to be part of, she finds herself questioning everything she knows about life, love, and the mob.

Age Rating: 18+ (Content Warning: Rape & Violence)

The Zombie Prophecies

A bizarre disease is turning the world into zombies…but Donovan isn’t turning. He’s developing strange psychic abilities. And he’s not the only one.

Age Rating: 18+

My Warrior

Running from an abusive ex lands Opal quite literally in the arms of mysterious boxing champion, Warrior. But though Warrior’s seductive grip is enough to sweep Opal fast off her feet and into a whirlwind romance, she’s about to learn it’s hard to escape a dangerous past. In the competitive world of boxing, there are opponents on every corner of the ring…and playing for keeps sometimes means playing dirty.

Age Rating: 18+ (Content Warning: Assault, Kidnapping, Sexual Assault/Abuse, Stalker, Violence Against Women)

The One She Always Wanted

Tori Martin was always in love with Jason McBride. The one time they were alone, things heated up, but Tori’s mother discovered them, tore them apart, and moved Tori out of town. Tori returns 9 years later, trying to escape a sadistic rapist who won’t let her go. Will Jason be able to get in the way?

Age Rating: 18+ (Content Warning: Sexual Abuse, Rape, & Violence)

Him & I

Out of her six siblings, Sienna-Rose Watson has it the worst. She’s always getting in trouble with her controlling mother and abusive father. So, she’s working two jobs, trying to earn enough to escape her toxic home. Damien Black is a mafia king and a ruthless monster. When he sees Sienna-Rose, he knows he has to have her. She looks like an angel, and he might just be the actual devil… But could it somehow be a match made in Heaven?

Age Rating: 18+ (Domestic abuse, Violence, Graphic Sex)

Warning: this book contains material that may be considered upsetting or disturbing.Reader discretion is advised.

Note: This story is the author’s original version and does not have sound.


Mia Harnett is a woman fleeing a dark past and a painful secret. But when wealthy and powerful Erik Kingsley starts making inquiries in the tiny Scottish town where she has sought refuge, Mia knows there is nowhere to run. Having lost everything, she learns that there is always more to be taken…

Age Rating: 18+ (Content Warning: Sexual assault/abuse, Rape, Self-Harm)